Reflections from the Trainees Council on International Women’s Day

08 March 2024

Dr Victoria O'Brien and Dr Julianaa Raghu are Co-Chairs of the Trainees Council. This blog was written with contributions from the wider group (see below). Contact the Trainees Council by emailing trainees [at] bgs [dot] org [dot] uk.

On International Women's Day, we pay tribute to a remarkable woman, Dr Marjory Warren, who played a pivotal role in establishing the British Geriatrics Society. As one of the pioneering women in healthcare, she shattered barriers and made significant contributions to the field of geriatrics. Dr Warren's dedication and leadership not only transformed the way we approach ageing and healthcare but also inspired countless women to pursue careers in medicine and make their mark on the world. Her legacy serves as a beacon of empowerment and resilience, reminding us of the invaluable role women play in shaping the future of healthcare and society as a whole.

The BGS Trainees Council is made up of many inspiring women who share a passion for delivering the best care they can for our older patients. We have representation from the four home nations and have many exciting projects both in progress and on the horizon. For International Women’s Day we asked them for some highlights of their roles. We want to showcase the ways they are inspiring inclusion through education, representation, and leadership.

We have been inspired by seeing previous trainees in the chair role and feel privileged taking on a national role leading such a motivated and ambitious team. It’s pushed us to try new things and take on new challenges, and we hope we can encourage others to do the same.

Taking over as co-chairs in November, we have big plans for the next two years. We are grateful for such a fantastic committee of trainee representatives with a diverse range of backgrounds and experience; from foundation trainees to ST7 registrars and those planning to take the CESR route. We are excited to work with them on making events as accessible and impactful for trainees as possible, representing trainee views at the BGS board meetings, developing links with our multidisciplinary colleagues and later this year launching our Instagram page, where we will showcase highlights of our work to inspire others into the specialty.

From attending careers fairs for school children to mentoring the medical students who make up our medical student group, encouraging the next generation is a key part of the Council’s work.

Sarah True is one of our workforce representatives and a great role model for students, including Grace Fisher. Grace is one of our medical student reps whose work is already helping to break down barriers to the profession. Sarah told us: “I’m grateful a colleague saw how enthusiastic Grace was and used her connections and resources to bring us together. Since then we have worked together on a number of projects but I am especially proud of her national award-winning poster presentation on ‘Barriers perceived by medical students when considering a career in geriatric medicine’. Even without my mentoring, Grace was going to thrive but I hope that with the support of myself and the investment of other women in our network she will surpass my own achievements and become the one inspiring others. The mentoring relationship has taught me about my own strengths and weaknesses and motivated me to strive to be the best role model I can for women as they forge a career in geriatric medicine”.

The medical student group was the brainchild of our predecessor Sangam Malani. The ten members shadow trainees in their committee roles and meet together to support other students and projects at BGS. Their enthusiasm and engagement are infectious. As a direct result of their inclusion in BGS committees, three of them are now actively involved in supporting national-level curriculum research with our education rep Grace Pearson.

The Trainees Council’s work doesn’t stop with including students, and in January committee members Zi (England council Rep) and Su (Clinical Quality Rep) kicked off the year by running an event to support internal medicine trainees applying for the specialty. The online webinar was attended by over 100 aspiring geriatricians who reported feeling more confident and informed after Zi and Su shared their experiences and top tips.

The Trainees Council will be helping to deliver sessions at the BGS Spring and Autumn Meetings. We are also excited to be planning our next Trainees’ Conference in early 2025. Steph, one of our events reps, is working on conference guides for trainees and told us, “We are putting a big focus on inclusivity for the trainees’ conference and are keen to hear ideas about how we can continue to improve the educational experience for juniors.”

Increasing opportunities to work flexibly is one of the attractions to trainees of Geriatrics, especially for those with caring responsibilities. Sabrina is one of our events reps and, like many others, she juggles her Council role with parenting: “I'm a very new member on the BGS Trainees Council. I am also a mum of two (very cute!) young boys. Being part of the BGS means that I am still able to pursue and dedicate time to something I enjoy, whilst fitting it into my hectic lifestyle!”

Our less than full time reps also provide visibility for the many women in our specialty working at less than 100%. Ayesha told us; “I was really glad to find that some of my fellow members were part-time trainees and successfully managing their work/life balance.” As a passionate advocate for part-time training she helps ensure their perspective is considered on everything from planning events to curriculum queries.

On International Women’s Day, we should remind ourselves that there are remarkable females in geriatric medicine, whose compassion, expertise, and dedication profoundly impact the well-being of older adults. From clinicians providing hands-on care to researchers uncovering new insights into age-related conditions, women in geriatrics play a pivotal role in enhancing the quality of life for our older population. Their tireless efforts, leadership, and commitment to older people’s healthcare inspire us all. Today, we celebrate and honour them as role models for others who come after them. We salute their invaluable contributions to geriatric medicine and their unwavering advocacy for the health and dignity of older adults around the world.


  • Ayesha Sheikh
  • Grace Fisher
  • Grace Pearson
  • Marissa Worsfold
  • Nisha Rajcoomar
  • Rebecca Talbot
  • Sabrina Costa
  • Sarah True
  • Steph Moore
  • Su Thiri Aye
  • Zi Mistry


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